With 810 computer operators working in various departments of the BBMP, who haven’t been paid for six months, continuing with their strike for the second consecutive day, property tax collections were hit.
BBMP officials conceded this by stating that tax collections were “hit to a certain extent”. Braving the heavy rain on Monday, hundreds of them staged a protest at the BBMP head office here. On Tuesday, they staged a protest outside the office of Keonics on Race Course Road.
Palani Swamy, general secretary of BBMP Computer Operators’ Union, told The Hindu even the software and hardware engineers hired on contract had not been paid for the past three months.
He claimed that nearly Rs. 3.5 crore was pending as salaries. He said that BBMP has a contract with Keonics, which has sub-contracted the posts with three other agencies. U.N. Rohini, who works in the Assistant Revenue Office, Kodigehalli, coming under Yelahanka zone, said though the BBMP releases Rs. 10,500 a month as salary for each computer operator, they get only Rs. 6,500 a month. Manjula S., who works in the Yelahanka zone, said that she was finding it difficult not just to manage her household expenses, but also pay her two children’s school fees.
Meanwhile, the BBMP officials blamed Keonics for the computer operators’ plight. They claimed that Keonics had not submitted any bill (for the salaries) since December 2012.
BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah, in a press release, said the onus of paying the salaries to computer operators lay on Keonics and not with BBMP. He claimed that all the bills of Keonics (pertaining to salaries) had been cleared.
BBMP officials said that the civic body was now planning to impart computer training to its own officials. It was also contemplating floating a tender for the computer operators itself and hiring the staff from a single agency.